Alliance for Justice calls the withdrawal of Miers "ominous." Ralph Neas dubs it a victory for the "ultraconservatives." Bottom line: liberal courtwatchers are bracing themselves for a new nominee to pander to Bush's far-right power base.
People for the American Way had this reaction:
Harriet Miers’ withdrawal from her Supreme Court nomination demonstrates that ultraconservatives are so determined to swing the Supreme Court sharply to the right that they pounded their own president’s nominee into submission, and now demand a nominee with unquestioned far-right credentials, said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way.
“It’s an astonishing spectacle. The unelected power-brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of President Bush’s own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held. President Bush’s complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups is astounding. The ultra-right wing dominance of Republican Party politics is complete, and they have dealt a terrible blow to an already weakened President and his administration,” said Neas. “Right-wingers are openly saying they elected Bush to put a battle-ready ultraconservative on the court to replace the moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, and they’re demanding a new choice – bipartisanship, moderation and mainstream Americans be damned.”
Neas said that while his group had initial concerns about Miers’ qualifications, he was willing to wait for document disclosure and the confirmation hearings to assess the nomination. Meanwhile, the drumbeat against Miers from special interest groups on the right grew in coordination and intensity, dooming the nomination.
Neas urged Bush to resist calls for an ultraconservative nominee.
And Nan Aron of Alliance for Justice issued this statement:
An influential segment of the right wing was profoundly disappointed that, with Harriet Miers, the president did not nominate a proven ‘movement’ conservative who would carry out their political agenda on the bench. They have been clamoring for the withdrawal of Ms. Miers’ nomination for weeks. What has happened today is an ominous indication of capitulation to such pressure. An independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our democracy. It is too vital to be used as a means of placating a political party’s base.
As the president makes another attempt to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s pivotal seat, we encourage him to work in good faith with members of both parties to choose a consensus nominee who is committed to equal justice. The new nominee should not merely serve the interests of the radical right. He or she must serve the interests of the American people—in their entirety—by protecting and enforcing our rights, freedoms and legal protections.